WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined that countervailing-duties imposed on truck/bus tires produced in China in February 2019 should be reduced at least 27 percentage points.
According to a notice published in the Dec. 23 Federal Register, the revision is related to a review of certain agency procedures in determining the duties. The review was initiated earlier this year by the United Steelworkers (USW) union, the original petitioner for such duties in 2017.
The revised CV duties are:
- Prinx Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd. — 17.47%
- Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. — 14.77%
- Other named companies (42 in all) — 15.67%.
According to the agency's ruling from February 2019, the rates in force up to now were:
- Guizhou Tyre Import & Export Co. Ltd./ Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd. — 63.34%;
- Shanghai Huayi Group Corp. Ltd., Kunlun Tyre Co. Ltd., Double Coin Holdings Ltd. and four other Double Coin companies — 20.98%.
- The "All-Others" rate, covering those companies not specifically identified, was 42.16%.
Both Guizhou and Shanghai Huayi (Double Coin) are included in the "others" category under the revised ruling, which applies only to the countervailing duties.
Antidumping (AD) duties imposed in 2019 are unaffected by this change.
Nearly 300 separate tire-importing entities — bearing names such as Cooper, Michelin, Toyo, Double Coin, Sailun, Triangle, etc. — were levied antidumping duties of 9%.
The "China-Wide Entity" duty level, covering all importers not specifically listed, was 22.57%.
In addition, the 25% import duties imposed by the Trump Administration on under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 are still in place.
Since the elevated CV and antidumping duties were imposed in early 2019, imports of truck/bus tires from China have plunged, falling to 1.38 million units last year from 3.19 million units in 2019 and 9.21 million units in 2018.
Through the first nine months of 2021, truck/bus tire imports from China had fallen even more, dropping 22.2% versus the same 2020 period to 840,328 units.
According to the revised order published Dec. 23, Commerce intends to issue "assessment instructions" to Customs and Border Patrol in early 2022 ("no earlier than 35 days after the publication of this ruling) on the ruling.
If, however, a "timely summons" is filed with the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) — which has nationwide jurisdiction over civil actions arising out of the customs and international trade laws of the U.S. — CBP will be instructed to postpone implementing these CV duty changes "until the time for parties to file a request for a statutory injunction has expired." This would be 90 days from the date of publication.
Of companies potentially affected by the decision, representatives of only one — Prinx Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd. — had responded to queries from Tire Business for comment, saying the combined effects of the CV, AD and Section 301 duties still are prohibitive to importing tires.